Stained cedar deck didn't last a year!
I have a stained deck dilemna I was hoping to get some advice on.
I had a new cedar deck built and completed in Nov, 2009. The deck then sat all winter and in May, 2010 I stained it with Sherwin Williams's water-based DECKSCAPES semi-transparent stain product. Although the fresh wood sat all winter and I assumed the protective "sheen" was off already, I still used the recommended prep solution to scrub down the wood and make it ready to accept the stain. The stain seemed to lay on top of the wood rather than truly penetrating into it as I would have expected with a stain product. Almost immediately I began to see some wear marks on the deck flooring as some of the stain started to wear off.
With all the snow we received here in PA over the winter, the deck stayed most of the winter buried under snow. It all finally melted only to unveil that the stain has peeled off almost the entire deck. There are strips of shredded stain (like paint peeling off a wall) all over the deck. Oddly enough, the uprights held up fairly well and a fence around my pool equipment also made from cedar still looks great.
So now I'm faced with how to repair this so that A)it doesn't look like an awful patch job when I put down new stain (I prefer to use a semi-transparent so that the wood grain shows through, so I'm afraid this won't cover where the stain isn't coming off) and B)I want it to take this time and not be repeating this again next year.
Any advice on next steps and/or possible products? Quite frankly I'm ready to give up on Sherwin Williams and go back to Home Depot and get something simple (and cheap!).